Hi there! If there is one trend we were ahead of it was the barn door trend ten years ago (I can’t believe it has been that long). We replaced every builder grade white, hollow door with either stained solid doors or barn doors in our basement. We installed a set of double barn doors and then a single barn door. This was before a quick Google search locates affordable barn door hardware and track systems. In fact, ten years ago when we called the big box home improvement stores they referred us to large animal feed stores. Over the years we duplicated our barn doors and learned how to make barn doors for less money. [Read more…]
Do you love the faux fur/flokati movement? For the purposes of this post, I am referring to it as faux fur, because it rolls off my tongue easier than flokati. I love the idea of faux fur accessories! Over the course of last year, I purchased and returned faux accessories and rugs multiple times. The side table selected for the faux fur makeover was next to the stairs behind a table in our living room.
I was in a constant purchase-return-purchase cycle that likely got me flagged at several discount home stores for excessive return activity.
Why the indecisiveness? [Read more…]
One of my favorite things to read is the Pottery Barn catalog. Seriously, it takes me longer to read a Pottery Barn catalog than the latest issue of People magazine. After 30 minutes I have pages torn out or tagged for inspiration. But with tuition and mortgage payments and the startup costs with my husband’s digital health company, the catalog usually ends up in the recycle bin. But, not last month. Last month I found my new dining room hutch.
The dining room hutch on my wish list since we tore out 1/2 a wall between the dining room and kitchen.
And, the irony is I didn’t find it in the catalog, I found my new dining room hutch in a hallway next to the bathrooms at Pottery Barn with a hold tag.
So I ripped the hold tag off!
Just kidding! I did not rip the hold tag off!
But, the story doesn’t end there at the store. No, I went home and checked out the details (price) and dimensions. And that’s when, in the final hours of a Sunday evening, in the top right-hand corner of my screen was a 24-hour flash sale
with a bonus round of **FREE SHIPPING.**
Sometimes non-essential dreams do come true.
I think this is where the term angel investors originated. #wink, #snarky.
Because once the hutch was in my shopping cart I got my sign from the angel investors; the Bowery reclaimed storage hutch was back ordered.
Backordered status translates to no credit card charge until the hutch shipped from Chicago.
I had time to pay it off before it shipped.
I now refer to this as mom’s angel investor club (entirely different meaning in my husband’s vernacular).
So the best part of this new dining room hutch was that it fit perfectly in my little dining room niche AND It paid in full before it shipped.
The dining room hutch was made from reclaimed wood with rough edges and dark brass hardware. It matched the industrial vibe and the existing dining room table we found on clearance years ago at a furniture store in Denver.
I finally have a place to store the dishes after we tore out the cabinets when we removed the wall. [Read more…]
We dropped our son off at college in the fall. Actually, we stuffed his suitcases to capacity and headed to the airport. I preordered his Bed Bath & Beyond dorm essentials to be picked up in Minneapolis. Erich refused to check his tennis bag because he said his racquets cost more than anything he packed in the suitcases. Smart kid… I mean young man.
This mama remembers his first tennis tournament…
Returning home to his bedroom was about 90 seconds of twisted knots of emotions.His room once housed bunk beds for him and his younger brother. It housed a rock climbing bed inherited from a dear friend. This same room is where he outed the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, Easter bunny and the Leprechaun from his younger brother’s imagination and belief system. We can laugh about that outing now.
But on the evening of our return, as I surveyed the hangers on the floor and the button down shirts that didn’t make the final college wardrobe selection, my eyes began to dart around the room.
My husband knows this look- it terrifies him.
But on this day, knowing I was on an emotional cliff, he kept quiet. Smart man. Deep breaths. And I knew the best way for me to handle this milestone was to give his childhood room a college-age bedroom makeover.
And, because his younger brother has almost an identical room, separated by a Jack & Jill bathroom (or a Jack & Jack bath), I completed two bedroom makeovers.
College Age Bedroom Before
This was a photo I took before listing his bed on Craig’s List. I sold his captain’s bed in less than an hour. It made it so much easier to paint with the bed out of his room.
While I cleaned out his room I took a few photos to capture a few mom memories. His closet played a major role in the bedroom makeover. Before boxing up his trophies and awards I snapped this picture.
With a new mattress, boxspring and bed framed scheduled for delivery, I cleared, donated and stored the contents of his room I got to work on a neutral paint color.
I chose Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. It matched the paint colors we chose when we had our house painted last year.
The lighter paint color brightened the room immediately. Nadal stayed. In the photo below you can see the inspiration for the previous paint color. Yep,r I chose the shade of blue based on a Babolat tennis bag and banner.
Keep your eyes on those bifold closet doors on the right.
Next up was finding a queen size bed. I found this one at Wayfair and it did not disappoint. Once I got the first bed frame I reordered a second for my other son’s bedroom. I was nervous to order something so large from Wayfair, but the reviews for this particular bed got high marks.
With wood and metal elements it was exactly what I wanted for an updated, industrial look for the college-age bedroom makeover.
Here’s a peek at the barn doors to replace the bifold closet doors. No love lost on the bifold doors. They were constantly jumping the track.
My husband found the solid pine doors at Home Depot on sale because of scratches on one side of the doors.
Perfect for a closet.
I found this lamp on Etsy a few years ago and it never found a permanent home, until now.
A reminder of where he came from…
More details to share on the updated bedrooms for my teenage sons, but I am so excited for the direction the rooms (and them) are headed! Proud mama!
It’s the second day of February! When I started this post (earlier this week) it said, “this is the last day of January!” My son is away on a school retreat and my husband was in Kentucky on a business trip. With a few days to myself, I spent the time tackling several ongoing projects. One of them was my home office. It is where I spend the majority of the day with my real estate transactions and our manufacturing company. And, of course, where I write the entertaining DIY projects for this site. Here’s a sneak peek and the last look before my office makeover.
I wanted my office organized, functional and pretty. To appreciate the makeover, here’s a few pics of the office before the makeover.
It’s a really bad photo, but it illustrates the chaos inside and outside a creative mind!
It is the reason my husband can’t even walk into my office. When he returns home from his office he will pop his head in to say and head to the living room muttering, “I can’t think in here.”
That’s why some guy invented man caves.
This is the same room after I repainted it Revere Pewter. And, that’s not a cocktail on my desk it’s this drink with a splash of cranberry juice. And, that drink is how I finally kicked the soda habit. If you have a new year resolution to kick a Diet Coke or sweet tea habit, check it out.
I was not joking about the poor lighting. It felt like a cave in more ways than one. My home office faces north so it receives little light and I usually wear a down vest when working.
Check out the hammer on the window ledge; it was there for weeks.
Does anyone else have a desk that looks like this? This is an older image, but if I took of photo of my desk right now.. it would look almost identical. Except now I have a small printer on the corner of my desk.
I started this office makeover by sorting through folders and folders of receipts, documents, warranties and every child’s immunization record going back to the 1990’s!
And, then I made the decision to remove the shutters. It was long overdrawn decision and one with no regrets. My office window looks into our backyard and if you follow me on Instagram you saw one of the many visitors who stop by over lunch. This is right outside my office window. How much was I missing outside with those heavy wood shutters?
And, I’m going to leave you how I greeted you with this sneak peek at my long overdue office makeover. No shutters…
This project began with an email offer I initially I suspected was spam. Because it’s not every day I receive an email with an offer for 30 square feet of peel & stick tiles. Um, yes and clear the calendar because mom has a project! The easiest part was I already had the “where” to install the tiled panels. I just needed to learn the “how” part of how to install peel & stick tiles.
Let’s back up a few months. Last year we took down the dated, stock cabinets in our basement bar and replaced with shelves made from select pine boards (stained). The same type of shelves we installed here and here.
But, when we removed the cabinets we had a blank wall in need of a heavy dose of texture. One of us (husband) freaked out, but I had a plan.
I wanted to create a chalkboard wall to transform our 2002 basement bar into more of a hipster bar with a side of a vibe. You know like most 2002 basements. I had visions of swirly fonts with chalkboard markers. I have a thing for chalkboards; like this one. And, this post explains the reason behind my chalkboard obsession.
An MDF board from Home Depot was the easiest and cheapest way to create a (smooth-ish surface) chalkboard for my wine and whiskey bar. The reality is it would be more like a club soda and wine bar.
The only problem was the MDF board didn’t give me a sleek backdrop for fun fonts. The surface was more scratchy than smooth; just like my handwriting.
Oh, and the other thing we learned was an all matte black chalk paint piece of plywood added very little to the bar. It was kind of like a one-dimensional backdrop. Which I never realized until I got that email I mentioned earlier.
Yep, an email that didn’t require me to provide my social security number or bank login credentials.
I received an email from Aspect Ideas this fall and I could not reply to the email inquiry for product fast enough. I just knew the Aspect Peel & Stick stone in Charcoal Slate would look amazing in our basement bar.
When the box arrived the only thing I was worried about was if there were enough peel & stick tile panels to cover the approximate 6×5 foot wall behind the bar. A quick non-math more visual calculation gave me hope the enthusiasm to get started on the bar makeover. The directions were in the product’s name; peel & stick tiles.
The supply list included:
- permanent marker
I started at the bottom of the wall (the height of the counter) and in the corner behind the kitchen sink. My thought was if I screwed up the corner it would not be as noticeable. The project was moving right along until I got to the outlets and the shelf hardware. I freaked a bit thinking this was where my project would go sideways.
I removed the shelves’ brackets and outlet covers and used the stone tile scraps to fill in around the outlets and hardware. It went much smoother than I anticipated. Translation: I did not screw it up.
I had a little bit of wiggle room with the straight line cuts because the hardware flange and outlet covers covered the cut edges of the stone tile.
I used a level with each panel and the black plywood made any tiny gaps blend into the wall. The stone tiles include shades of graphite and grays and speckled patterns. They all added texture and depth to the bar.
I love, love, love the finished look. I completed this project the weekend before Thanksgiving. It took about two hours to finish this project. The added bonus was there was no cleanup, grout or glue.
PEEL & STICK DETAILS
The Aspect Peel & Stick tile products are available in stone, metal and glass in a subway and matted styles. Wood styles will be available the first of the year. You can find lots of inspiration at their e-commerce site, DIY Decor Store.
On the fence? You can request a sample here.
Disclosure: I received free product in exchange for creating a review and sharing photos of the project. All opinions are my own.
Are you ready for the new year? I bought a new calendar and will spend tomorrow adding dates, deadlines, to-do lists with a set of fine tip Sharpie markers. As we count down the hours until the new year I want to share a few favorite blog posts in 2017. My year of blog posts were reduced to six months because of this issue.
Hope you have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve.
Favorite Blog Posts in 2017
I started my “new” blog year in June with new projects and photos.
Here are a few favorite posts.
This was a personal favorite project as it took seven years to achieve.
We took our family photo in our new backyard.
Attending Haven in Atlanta and meeting the girl behind this wildly popular blog.
I played a small role in her book launch and wrote my own This Close to Amazing story.
I shared how much I loved this commercial. Hint: It was about toilet paper, but it wasn’t.
Here was a quick tutorial on how to paint small cabinet pulls. The hack works with many small objects.
And, this is a favorite organizing tip ever. Ever!
Several of you related to this post.
And, this popular item in my house I attributed to Little House on the Prairie.
Happy New Year! May your blog posts bring you joy, laughter, few tears, and a joyful life.
Are you ready for Christmas? Exactly a year ago, I was recovering from the flu. It wiped me out up until Christmas Eve. So this year I feel fairly on top of things, which means my oven is going to break tomorrow. I felt like I was on auto-pilot pulling ornaments, lights, and stockings from under the basement stairs. Some of my garlands looked dull and the ornaments were not faring well in storage. But, somewhere between the first day of Hanukkah and yesterday, I found Christmas in the tiny details. Today I want to share the tiny details on my Christmas home tour!
If you recognize a few photos it’s from my Instagram Stories fiasco the other night.
Sidenote: If you follow me on Instagram (please do) I was working on my first story (I know, I know.. videos freak me out a bit) and my niece confirmed what I suspected; I had inadvertently posted a 1/2 dozen pics of our Bernese Mountain dog, Chloe.
It turns out fresh garland does more for a room than layers of artificial garland. It smells like a tree farm. And, it hides the dust. And, green pairs nicely with just about everything Christmas.
This is my favorite tiny detail. One small box of candy canes (still wrapped because I would break them if I tried to pry the plastic wrap from the cane) added more color and whimsy than any ornament. If you are living in temporary housing, a rental, dorm or a 300 square foot condo there is always room for a white dish and candy canes.
I just bought this little tree at a decor store in Lone Tree. I paid full price and it was so cute I dug through the shelves to find a matching one. This was the last one. #destiny
The photo is blurry, but I like the highlights of the needles so I kept it in the tour.
Owen was our Bernese Mountain dog rescue who passed away three and half years ago. I ordered his stocking from Pottery Barn within days of his adoption. As a member of our family, he had to have a matching stocking. He spent the first three months in our closet because he was afraid of everything. He was afraid of the toaster, the camera flash, doorbell, vacuum and all appliances. We loved him for all of his idiosyncrasies.
The front entry closet door was the perfect place to hang his stocking. #loveyouowen
And, finally! Finally, I got a picture of our farmhouse kitchen shelves. Our kitchen is on the northeast corner of the house and it is a rare day to get the light right. I snagged this Christmas tree sign while waiting to check out at HomeGoods. That checkout line gets me every time! The plates were on sale at Crate & Barrel! I call it an early Christmas present to myself.
I was at the grocery store and bought a bag of oranges (Cuties) for my cutie (my son). As the youngest child at home, one of the many priveledges is me and his dad jump into action with most of his requests for food. And, as long as his request doesn’t include the verb, clean.
So a bag of Cutie oranges was a no-brainer!
Bag of Oranges
And, then a few days later I noticed the oranges were still in the unopened net bag with nary a teen in sight. And, the dogs don’t like anything with a rind around it.
So I stashed the oranges in a tiered tray and in caught a glance with the orange and green color contrast. So I fussed with the oranges and pried the stickers off each orange (can’t get the realtor out of the girl) and grabbed my camera.
Sidenote: I was with the photographer on a new listing and she stopped everything and peeled the stickers off the produce on the counter. As a realtor, I just hoped my clients weren’t married to the produce stickers. Turns out we all agreed, “Why didn’t we think of that?”
And, this is how a blog post titled, “If you give a mom an orange” begins.
In my haste to stash the bag of oranges into something neater than what looks like a fishing net, I discovered the decorative properties of fruit.
Collective eye roll from many of my family members and friends after that last sentence.
A few of the cuties looked wrinkled so I tucked those inside the fresh garland in the kitchen window. And, you thought garland only disguised dust.
I could tuck the contents of my junk drawer under the Christmas tree skirt with a few moments notice.
So in the days leading up to Christmas and New Years, don’t discard the fruit; disguise it! Merry Christmas!
How do you work your fruit into your kitchen counters?
Here is a project for all of you who want to gut your kitchen, but other financial commitments push it down the list. I am dreaming of a new kitchen for Christmas, but with college tuition and a husband in a digital health startup ** new cabinets, counters, and appliances are in a holding pattern. Today’s project is about how to build a kitchen counter from finished birch plywood.
My husband decided to build a temporary countertop, stained to match (blend) with our existing granite squares.
We wanted the space between the kitchen and dining room to have a finished look after we removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Knocking out the wall forced us to create a temporary kitchen counter that transitioned from the dining room into the kitchen. The decision gave us time to shore up finances before we gutted the entire kitchen.
And, here’s the best part: our kitchen counter turned out so great it might be more of a long-term solution.
** Sidebar: One of the perks of a spouse in a startup is he challenges his energy (stress) into DIY projects.
The Making of a Counter
But when we took out a 1/2 wall between our dining room and kitchen we had an exposed counter and an unfinished extended counter for a breakfast bar. We also had exposed 2×4’s and plumbing that needed to be moved about seven inches into the half wall.
Plywood Counter Details:
- When we removed half the wall we need to create an extended countertop. The originally 2×4 frame was cut at the height of the counter to the ceiling. We also had an inch drop from the granite counter and unfinished 1/2 wall space. See photos below.
We reinforced the inside of the 1/2 wall with a 2×4’s to anchor the wall and to stabilize the space.
- Used 1 1/2″ sheet of plywood to secure the 2×4 rectangular frame (counter)
- Adhered 3/4″ finished birch plywood with construction glue to the finished plywood
- We extended the counter a bit to create a breakfast bar.
- Finished the edges with 1×2″ select birch trim.
- Stained the finished birch plywood with black stains & multiple coats of a high gloss sealer.
Until this kitchen counter project, I did not think it was possible to create a beautiful, solid surface countertop made from a sheet of plywood and finished birch plywood. Two types of plywood stacked on top of each other.
I like it so much I might just tear out the existing granite squares!
Linking to: Chic on a Shoestring Budget